A £102 billion increase in funding for the NHS, social care and public health has been recommended in a major report by the London School of Economics and Lancet medical journal.
In a new analysis of health and care spending projections, LSE-Lancet Commission proposes that to meet future demand, ensure staff pay keeps pace with average earnings, and to invest in capital to protect against major threats to health, that funding for these sectors should increase by at least 4% every year in real terms over the next 10 years.
Alongside this long-term funding commitment, the Commission recommends a one-off injection in social care spending of £3.2 billion.
It says this is needed for social care to improve financial protection for the most vulnerable, including making the means test for social care more generous by raising the point at which people have to pay for their own care from £23,250 to £100,000, and introducing a cap on care costs of £75,000.
It is proposed that most of the £102bn would come from rises in income tax, national insurance and VAT.
Initially there would be a 1p increase in all three by 2025-26, and further 2p uplifts in both income tax and national insurance by 2030/31.
Co-chair of the Commission Professor Alistair McGuire said: “This report outlines an ambitious, long-term vision that looks beyond the election cycle.
“Our collective ambition should be as much about preventing ill-health and keeping people healthy as it is about treating people when they are sick. This means the NHS, social care, and public health working in partnership with other public services, civil society, and communities to improve the nation’s health, and deliver a health system that is prepared for future health shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that health and national economic prosperity cannot be disentangled, and health must be a key area as we rebuild post-COVID.”